Tools to implement electronic transcript exchange

If you’ve ever wanted to automate your processes, ease the administrative burden on your staff and students, increase data integrity and student satisfaction, reduce institutional risk associated with manual work and redundant process steps, provide faster admission and transfer credit decisions, then you may be a candidate for Electronic Transcript Exchange.

The speakers, Monterey Sims from the University of Phoenix, and Doug Holmes of the Ontario Universities' Application Centre, explained that there are several ways to exchange transcripts electronically. One method is known known as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). Another method is XML, which is an emerging technology. (EDX – Electronic Data Exchange – is an informal umbrella term that encompasses both EDI and XML.) Finally, the most low-tech way to exchange transcripts electronically but securely is by PDF.

Holmes is enthusiastic about the possibilities of exchanging data freely. “Data includes much more content than just those things printed on a transcript. Applications, test scores, proof of enrollment…all of this is data.”

Session attendees learned how to get started (trading partner agreements, your project charter, the problem with paper systems), and which questions to ask service providers. ROI (Return on Investment) and FERPA concerns were also discussed. The presenters wrapped up with a list of research resources that participants could use to begin the process of implementing electronic transcript exchange on their campus.

For those who might be concerned about the security of electronic data exchange, Sims concluded with “There has been no single event of fraud to date using EDX/EDI; it’s very secure.”

For further information on emerging technology resources for your campus: